Post 357 : Ginger Squash Soup, Lubia Salad handed down from the Sefardi tradition; Breathe in, count to ten and breathe out- The New Year is upon us. How to prepare ourselves for Teshuvah, The Order of the Rosh Ha Shannah Service, Foods for holiday Seudah for Health, Wealth, Etc. Women’s Rosh Ha Shannah Events, Theater Club for English Speakers to prepare for Hebrew Theater

I may be out on a limb. What is Teshuvah?

We are in Elul. It’s time to inspect our Kelim, our vessels, how we operate vis-a-vis out creator. I am aware of Him, but each and every moment, he surprises me. How much he is here for me, I can never know.What are our “Vessels” Have you cleaned an actual pot recently?  If you have a really greased up pot that stood without cleaning, it will take a thorough going over – in fact more than once. During that whole messy process the pot will resist. You may get the feeling that this is so tortuous I can’t continue. The pure surface will start to shine thru in a few places. By the end of the operation the pot will be like new.

However we are not pots. We , each and every one of us, are  intrinsically good . Any sin  that we committed 10 years ago and we resolve again this Rosh Ha Shanah not to do again, wipes our slate clean and gives us a new beginning. We become a new creation.

Our children are our future. They’re the most devoted to life- 5777 – May it be a year of marriages. for all our children תהא – ז”תשעזיווגים עם ִשנה . May all of you looking for you zivig, get married this year – and I (Rebetzin Yemina Mizracchi), have a request: don’t get small as you grow. When you do have a husband and children, retain your broad perspective, of davening for people about whom everyone else has forgotten. During the shofar‐blowing, when we remember Sisera, we remember all the bereaved mothers, who so wanted to give of themselves to their child and ended up being forced to give him up, for the sake of an entire people. It’s no coincidence that Rosh Hashanah is also called Yom Hazikaron Memorial Day – and the shofar is the great siren that we sound on that day. So I just want to say to all the women who feel “all day things are taken from me, I do so much, how will I cope with the hectic holidays?”: sweetheart, you don’t know how to do it any other way… And that’s real joy. When Hashem looks at you that way, rushing, running, trying, He raises a cup of salvation and says, “L’chayim, dear”.  Excerpted from Rabanit Yemima Mizrachi

Walking into synagogue this Rosh Hashanah, what will you see and hear?How does the Morning Rosh Ha Shanah Service relate  to introspection?

The morning service (Shacharit and Musaf together) should take approximately 4-5 hours.

Shacharit:The first part of the service, until the Amidah, resembles the service of every Shabbat and holiday — Baruch She’amar, Psalms of Praise, Yishtabach, Shema and its blessings, etc. The Rosh Hashanah Amidah is then recited, followed by a lengthy Repetition of the Amidah by the chazzan, which is inter-sprinkled with different hymns which are traditionally sung together by the entire congregation. Members of the congregation are honored with opening the Ark before the recitation of many of these hymns.

When the chazzan concludes his repetition, the congregation rises for the Avinu Malkeinu prayer. This is followed by the recitation of the Song of the Day.Torah Readings:At this point two Torahs are taken from the Ark.

While the Ark is open, before the Torahs are removed, special prayers designed to evoke Divine mercy are silently recited.First Day:
The birth of Isaac is the theme of the reading of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. We learn the lesson of Divine Providence and Omnipotence.Sarah, at the age of ninety, gives birth to Isaac, her first and only child. Isaac is entered into the Covenant of our Father Abraham at the age of eight days. In the haftorah we read about the birth of the prophet Samuel.Second Day:
The “Binding of Isaac” is the theme of today’s reading. The Binding of Isaac has come to represent the ultimate in the Jew’s devotion to G‑d. On Rosh Hashanah, when the world trembles in judgment before G‑d, we evoke the Binding of Isaac.

We tell G‑d, “If we have no other merit, remember how the first Jew bound all succeeding generations of Jews in a covenant of self-sacrifice to You.” The haftorah, a reading from the Book of Jeremiah, talks about G‑d’s everlasting love for His people and the future ingathering of the exile. In the last verse of the haftorah, G‑d says, “Is Ephraim [i.e., the Children of Israel] not My beloved son? Is he not a precious child that whenever I speak of him I recall him even more?”

This follows one of the primary themes of the Rosh Hashanah prayers, our attempt to induce G‑d to remember us in a positive light on this Day of Judgment.Shofar Blowing:The shofar blowing service is the central point of the day’s services. Preparatory Psalms are recited, and then the shofar blower recites the blessings and sounds the shofar.Musaf:In most communities, The Musaf service is prefaced by a passage recited by the chazzan, wherein he requests Divine favor and permission to lead the congregation despite his deficiencies. The Special Rosh Hashanah Musaf Amidah is then recited.

The Musaf Amidah has three themes — each contained within its own blessing: G‑d’s kingship, G‑d’s remembering His people, and the sounds of the shofar. In many communities, the shofar is sounded after the congregation silently concludes each of these blessings. The chazzan then repeats the Amidah, which is again inter-sprinkled with various hymns. A deeply moving section of the Musaf Amidah Repetition is “U’nit-a-neh Tokef” (click here for the history behind this prayer). The shofaris again sounded when the chazzan concludes each of the three aforementioned themed blessings. Towards the end of the service, the priests, or kohanim, direct descendants of Aaron the High Priest, bless the congregation with the Priestly Blessing. The prayer concludes with the Ein Ke’eloheinu and Aleinu. Afternoon Prayer:

The brief afternoon service consists of the opening prayers, (the Torah reading if Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat,) the Amidah prayer, thechazzan’s repetition of the Amidah, the recital of Avinu Malkenu, and the concluding Aleinu prayer.

Tashlich Prayer
On the first day of Rosh Hashanah (or on the second day if the first day falls on Shabbat), it is customary to visit a body of water that has fish, and there to recite a brief prayer. Following are two events for women:

Two Events for Women Before Rosh Ha Shanah

1) EVENT:  Jordan River Jubilee for Women You’re invited to Turbo-Charge your Teshuva….“Run and Return” (Ratzo veShav) Jordan River Jubilee for Women

Sunday, Sept. 25th @ a super magical part of the river near Karkom
(20 minutes drive from Tzfat towards the Kinneret)

Come as early as you want and stay as late as you want.

10 am: Ma’amar on Teshuva from the Mitteler Rebbe with Chaya Bracha Leiter

11:00 am: “Head to Toes” Teshuva- Experiment with powerful guided exercises using the river current as a mashal for your relationship with HaShem-
with Aviva Spiegel

20 NIS donations for each teacher
(classes optional)

12:30 Music and drum circle- bring your instruments

Remember to bring swim gear, lunch and water (and whatever else you need)

Directions: From Tsfat, Drive towards the Kinneret. Turn Left at Vered HaGalil (route 8277). Drive about 5 minutes and turn left at signs for Karkom. Turn into the parking lot. You will see a small road immediately as you turn in. Drive down this long, steep one lane road till the bottom. There will be clear signs (bright yellow ones with flowers) starting at the picnic area to direct you.

Please RSVP.
Aviva Spiegel
PHONE:  050-365-0246

Ktiva v’Chatima Tova! Shana Tova Umetuka!

!This shiur is available for ssponsorship.

See below for more info and opportunities.

2)Katamon Learning Experience  brings you inspiration for Rosh Hashanah and invites all women to a shiur not to be missed ,


Rebbetzin Shira Smiles


Tekias Shofar – Entering into the Inner Realm 

WHEN: Sunday, September 25, 2016 – 8:30 PM

WHERE:Home of the Lurie Family

HaGadna 14, Katamon

(Corner Hashayarot)


20 NIS

Certain foods are prepared for Rosh Hashana for a Rosh Ha Shanah Seudah.

  • After eating LEEK,  CABBAGE, or SWISS CHARD  say: “May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be CUT OFF.” The Aramaic word for squash, karaa, uses the same sounds as the Hebrew verbs “rip apart” and “read.” The accompanying blessing is double, that the evil of our verdicts be ripped, and our merits be read before God. As with the other foods, the exact meaning of “karaa” is unclear, and different Jewish communities gave the Aramaic word different interpretations, as pumpkin or squash.
  • After eating BEETS, say: “May it be Your will, God, that our adversaries be REMOVED.”
  • After eating DATES, say: “May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be FINISHED.”
  • After eating GOURD, say: “May it be Your will, God, that the decree of our sentence should be TORN apart, and may our merits be PROCLAIMED before You.”
  • After eating POMEGRANATE, say: “May it be Your will, God, that our merits increase as the seeds of a POMEGRANATE.”
  • After eating the HEAD of a sheep or fish, say: “May it be Your will, God, that we be as the HEAD and not as the tail.

You can also use other foods and make up your own “May it be Your will…” For example, eat a raisin and celery, and ask God in the coming year for a “raise in salary” (raisin celery)!


Come New Year’s eve, what do you wish for?

  • A year as sweet as APPLES in honey is one typical answer. But Jewish tradition offers many other symbolic options. Talmudic era scholars came up with a list of very specific requests to make from God, laying the groundwork for the Rosh Hashanah seder, which Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews have been conducting for hundreds of years.
    The roots of this  Rosh Hashanah seder can be found in the Babylonian Talmud circa 300 CE.
  • It was built around symbolic foods chosen for their Aramaic names, which are word plays on the accompanying blessings, black eyed pea, and carrots.Black-eyed pea or haricots verts are called rubia or lubia in Aramiac. These words contain the same sounds, respectively, as “many” and “heart” in Hebrew. The accommodating blessing asks that our merits become many and that God hearten us.Some add that may we increase in the coming year.
    Haricot verts can be served simply roasted, or cooked in tomatoes. In Egypt, the word rubia was used for fava bean, but since fresh fava beans were not in season during Rosh Hashanah, Egyptian Jews cooked dried beans. Yemenite Jews used fenugreek for this blessing.

Sephardi families serve sweet roasted pumpkin burikitas (small pastries) or fried pumpkin sprinkled with sugar. In some communities, families would prepare a sweet pumpkin jam, while others in the levant would serve the light skinned, Middle Eastern zucchini.
read more:

Lubia Salad is one from the Sefardic tradition;

Lubia Salad With Tomatoes, Onions and Spearmint for Rosh Hashanah (From Haaretz)

A contemporary variation of the bean, based on ancient symbols and traditional foods believed to bring blessings for the Jewish New Year.

Ronit Vered Sep 02, 2012
1 cup dried lubia beans, soaked in water for 12 hours
1/2 kg. fresh lubia, well rinsed
1/4 kg. broad Turkish beans
1 cup Tamar cherry tomatoes
1/2 hot red pepper sliced into rings
1 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 cup spearmint leaves
6 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and black pepper

Place the dried lubia in a pot, add olive oil, a little salt for cooking, and water to cover, plus about 1 centimeter. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, until the lubia softens. Strain and set aside. Scald the fresh lubia for two minutes in boiling salted water. Remove, strain and transfer immediately to a bowl filled with ice water. Cut the Turkish beans into long strips without cooking them. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Transfer the three types of beans to a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and serve.

Ronit Vered
read more:

Ginger Squash SoupGinger Squash Soup - Photo © Molly Watson

Ginger Squash Soup.  Photo © Molly Watson

Updated December 30, 2015.

A bit of fresh ginger balanced with the kick of ground ginger turn sweet and rich squash soup into much more than the sum of its parts. I usually use butternut squash for this soup, but any winter squash will be just as tasty. It’s a flavorful beginning to a bigger meal, or makes a light dinner with crusty bread and a fresh salad.s


    • 4 pounds winter squash (1 large squash)

    • 2 medium onions

    • 3 cloves garlic (optional)

    • 3 Tablespoons butter or vegetable oil

    • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger

    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

    • 8 cups  vegetable broth

    • Sour cream or crème fraîche for garnish (optional)

  • Yield: Makes 6 servings


  1. Halve, seed, peel, and cube the squash. Set aside.

  2. Halve, peel, and chop the onion. Peel and mince the garlic, if you’re using it.

  3. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the butter or oil and onion. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  5. Add the fresh ginger and the ground ginger, and stir until fragrant, about 1 more minute.

  6. Add the squash and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

  7. Transfer small batches to a blender. Hold a kitchen towel over the top (to prevent burns) and whirl until completely and utterly smooth, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. If you have a hand-held immersion blender, you can use that instead, just be sure to blend the soup long enough and thoroughly enough so that the soup is well and truly smoothly puréed.

  8. Return the soup to the pot. Taste it. Add salt to taste, if needed. Serve the soup topped with dollops of sour cream or crème fraîche, if you like.

    Theater Club for English Speakers:

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    Want to improve your Hebrew fluency? Give it a nuanced dramatic flair?

    Have like minded friends or want to meet some?

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